Understanding COPD: Symptoms ,Diagnosis & Management
What is COPD? COPD is a lung disease, which stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Chronic means long standing, means it will not go away. Obstructive means there is a…By Admin | 29 November 2022
What is COPD?
COPD is a lung disease, which stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
Chronic means long standing, means it will not go away.
Obstructive means there is a partial blockage.
Pulmonary means related to lung.
Disease means illness.
So COPD is chronic lung disease which makes person difficult to breath.
It slowly gets worse over a period of time. Early diagnosis and treatment can help people manage the disease and improve their quality of life.
WHO CAN DEVELOP COPD?
COPD is the disease of the adults/elderly.
It develops due to any of the following:
- Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most patients with COPD are smokers or have history of smoking in past. Any form of smoking can cause COPD, including passive/second hand smoking.
- Fumes from cooking Chula or Biomass can also lead to COPD.
- Constant exposure to dust or smoke at work places (Occupation/Industry) or even air pollution can also lead to COPD.
What are the symptoms of COPD?
COPD is chronic lung disease refers to two lung diseases, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, that make it hard to breathe. Patients with COPD are generally 40 years old, but people younger than age 40 may also rarely get COPD.
If you notice the below symptoms it’s crucial to get yourself checked. With an expert team of Lung Specialists (Pulmonologists) in Vadodara at Aadicura Superspeciality Hospital, our main focus is an expert and accurate diagnosis of the condition, thereby leading to the successful management of the condition.
The main symptoms of COPD are:
- Chronic cough (with or without sputum production).
- Breathlessness – especially when you walk fast.
- Wheezing or whistling sound during breathing coming from your chest.
- Chest tightness – this may feel like a band is squeezing your chest.
- Symptoms slowly gets worse over a period of time.
COPD can also cause other symptoms, such as Fatigue, Loss of appetite, Weight loss, swelling in ankles, feet, or legs, and Depression.
If you have COPD, you may not have all of these symptoms. They may also come and go.
How is COPD diagnosed?
COPD is typically diagnosed using a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. At Aadicura Superspeciality Hospital, we have an expert team of Lung Specialists in Vadodara, who can help you diagnose and evaluate the condition with comfort and ease.
Diagnostic tests: Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to confirm a diagnosis of COPD and determine its severity. Spirometry, Chest X-ray, Blood tests. Lung function testing, Pulse oximetry etc.
- Spirometry – It is most important Pulmonary Function Test for COPD.
- It’s useful for diagnosis as well as monitoring of disease also.
- It assess the extent of damage to the lungs by detecting how well you actually breathe.
- It involves breathing into the mouthpiece of a spirometer to measure the volume of air that you can inhale and exhale over a period of time.
- It can be done at the respiratory/pulmonary hospital.
There are other Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) like Total Lung Capacity (TLC), Diffusion Capacity (DLCO), 6 Minute Walk Test and Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) and HRCT Chest etc. which might requires specially in advanced COPD. These advanced tests are available at Aadicura Superspeciality Hospital.
MANAGEMENT OF COPD:
With proper medicines, it can be kept under controlled with help of various medications.
- STOP SMOKING – Your doctor will help you in quitting smoking
- Stay away from things like smoke and dust which can increase your breathing problem.
- Various medicines are available for COPD. Your doctor will guide you about different medicines and techniques (Inhalers / Rotacaps / Nebulization).
- Keep your body strong, walk and exercise regularly. Pulmonary Rehabilitation is very much useful for all patients of COPD.
- A healthy diet gives the energy needed to breathe and helps prevent COPD exacerbation and malnutrition.
- Few vaccines are also available to help in fighting against various organisms (Pneumococcal, Influenza etc.). These vaccines are recommended for patients with COPD. Your doctor will guide you for dosage and schedule of vaccinations.
- It is possible to live a long and meaningful life with COPD by managing the condition and taking steps to prevent its progression. COPD Management is team work, consist of Diagnosis properly with various Tests, Treatment by Pulmonologists, and Guidance by Dieticians and Pulmonary Rehabilitation by Physiotherapists.